Facing is another great way to finish a neckline along with bias binding and lining. Facings are pieces of fabric that follow the shape of the neckline. They are usually reinforced with interfacing (fusible or sew-in) to add a bit of extra firmness and shape.
There are many different types of interfacing but the fusible version is by far the easiest to use on linen, especially for beginners. This is why we are going to teach you in this post how to apply fusible interfacing to a facing using your iron and then sew it to a V-neckline. Note that the process is exactly the same for the round or square necklines.
Fabric, matching thread (for the purpose of this tutorial we have used a darker colour thread), fusible interfacing
Pins, scissors, measuring tape, ruler, fabric pencil/marker, sewing machine
1. Prepare your garment by pinning and sewing your shoulder seams right sides together. Note that its best to leave the side seams open for now as it will be easier for you to attach the facing when you have an easy access to the neckline area.
2. Press the seams open and turn your garment right side out.
3. Now we need to make our facing and apply fusible interfacing. Using your pattern pieces as a template, lay the top of the front pattern on the fabric and trace the entire neck line from the center to the shoulder line. I usually go for a 2″ large strip for a nice wide facing but it really depends on the width of your shoulder line. The facing should not be wider than the shoulder line. Repeat for the back pattern piece.
4. Add a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance around all panels and cut. You’ll get two separate pieces (front and back of the neckline) like this:
5. Place your facing pieces onto the interfacing (on the side that is not sticky), trace and cut.
6. To apply the interfacing, lay it on top of the wrong side of your facing (fusible side down) and gently press down onto the fabric with a hot dry iron for several seconds to allow the glue to adhere to the fabric (remember to use a pressing cloth, otherwise you might end up with fusible interfacing stuck to your iron).
Note: The fusible side of the interfacing will be bumpy and the non-fusible – smooth.
7. Pin your facing pieces along the shoulders with right sides together and stitch at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance. Press the seams open.
Note: Now would be a good time to finish the bottom edge of your facing with zigzags, overcasting or overlocking if you really want to make sure that your fabric doesn’t fray. I often skip this step as I believe that the glue from the fusible interfacing does the job.
8. Place the right side of the facing on top of the right side of your garment matching up the shoulder seams and pin. Use plenty of pins to get the facing seated in the neckline as much as possible.
9. Stitch the facing onto the neckline at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance. When you come to the V, stop the machine with the needle still in the fabric, sew one or two stitches straight on and turn the fabric to sew the rest of the V.
10. Now that you’ve sewn the facing to the garment, you need to release the tension by clipping the V as close to the stitch line as possible (be careful not to cut through). This will help us get our nice V-shape.
11. The next thing to do is to trim the seams to 1/4″, then clip to, but not through, the seam line all the way around the neckline. This will help us avoid excessive bulk.
12. The next step is to pull the facing to the wrong side of the garment, pin the fold making sure that the seam isn’t showing on the right side and press it. Take a few seconds to really get in the corner of your V with your iron.
13. The last thing left to do is topstitching the entire neckline. It will help to prevent the facing from popping back out and lay flat on the inside. From the right side of the garment, stitch a straight line all around the neckline as close as possible to the seam (starting at the center back or at the shoulder seams).
That’s it! Now you have your nicely finished interfaced V-neckline.